Sunday, July 1, 2012

Artist Investigation: A Chat with Pat Sloan

Hi! It's me, Jaggie, Artist Investigator! I travel around the quilt-iverse, investigating quilt artists, new fabrics, trends and techniques for Bear Thread Designs!

I was able to convince Veronica to let me start a monthly interview with an artist that works in the quilting industry. She thought I was being inquisitive about what motivates these artists to create such wonderful creations for you and me to quilt, but let's face it, I just wanted to snuggle up with some very pretty ladies and maybe get a belly rub!!

Our first "Artist Investigation" is  none other than the creative quilting architect, Pat Sloan! I was so excited when she agreed to fit me in her schedule, I brushed my fur twice!

I sat down with Pat over a meal of farm-fresh fish and berries and chatted with her about what inspires her.

Jaggie: Tell us, how did you got started in quilting?

Pat Sloan (Photos by: Pat Sloan & Co.)
Pat: My friend Gwen decided I needed to learn to quilt, so she signed me up and I've never stopped. That has been about 20 years now.

Jaggie: Wow! 20 years, you don't look a day over 25, you must've started early! Who influenced you artistically from the start and is there anyone you learned about later who has impacted your creativity?

Pat: After I'd been quilting about 5 years I took a workshop with Nancy Crow, a contemporary quilter. She showed me that I didn't have to do traditional patchwork when making a quilt. That opened me up to all kinds of great things.

Jaggie: I'm a bit of a rule-breaker myself, so I understand the fascination with venturing from the norm and going a little crazy. What are the various projects that you are involved in?

Pat: I have a huge list of things as I guess I'm just a bit nuts!

Jaggie: Whoa! That's a lot of activities! You must've been voted most likely to succeed in high school! How do you keep it all straight? 

Pat: I'm a born organizer and I did project management for many years. Those two things mean I love to be organized and don't find it difficult. My schedule is my life line to keeping it all straight!

Jaggie: I like to organize things too, but mostly its the soft flannel fabrics I manage to sneak out of the Creativity Room at the office. (Shh! Don't tell!) They make the best beds for when I sleep the winter away! But with so much going on, what do you do to relax?

Pat: I love to travel, go out to eat, do a bit of gardening, and I actually quilt for fun!

Jaggie: That sounds fun. If you need someone to keep you company, I'll go! 
You've told us about all of the projects you have going on. From your many "firsts" ... first blog, radio show, TV show, book, etc. ... which one was the most rewarding and which one was the scariest?

Pat: Everything I've done has been super rewarding, it's hard to pick one as 'bigger' than the others.  Scary might have been starting the radio show 3 1/2 years ago. I've never done anything like that and have no training, but I do love quilters, talking about quilts and of course I love to chat! I believe talking about quilting is as fun as actually quilting. 

Jaggie: I would love to be on the radio, but Veronica says it's because I like to hear myself talk! I guess when you're talking about stuff you love, its easy! Its obvious that quilting is a large part of your life. What is your favorite color?

Pat: I'd say red and yellow. wink!

Jaggie: What is your favorite color to quilt with?

Pat: ALL of them! I've done primitives, black and white, hot colors, muted colors, vintage, they are all my favorite to work with.  

Jaggie: Sounds like your craft room is a rainbow of color. No wonder you're so creative!
 Focus on the Center (Photos by: Pat Sloan & Co.)
To keep from burning out, you must do stuff for fun!  If you were relaxing in a log cabin, curled up in front of a fire on a cold winter day with a book and quilt, what would your quilt look like?  

Pat: Well first I wouldn't be in a cabin in front of a fire on a cold day! I'd much prefer to be on vacation on a cruise ship sailing the Caribbean.  Or maybe vacation in New York City. Barcelona Spain. some place with lots of people and lots of things to do. So if I had a quilt with me, it will be small and have a minkee backing, a quilt to sleep with! The front of the quilt will be simple, big shapes to show off fabrics I love. It's all about the backing when I curl up!

Jaggie: I usually sleep the winter away with a Bear Paw quilt Veronica made me, but a cruise does sound fun. Maybe I'll try one next year!

Jaggie: Since the Applique Pressing Sheet TM was introduced, we have seen so many creative quilts using fusible applique. How have you seen the Appliqué Pressing Sheet TM impact the quilting industry?

Pat: The first time I saw one may have been right after it was introduced. A local quilt shop came to our guild and did demos!  I believe The Applique Pressing Sheet TM has given confidence to quilters to applique with fusibles!

Jaggie: Well, thank you Pat for sitting down with me to chat. Thanks for being brave enough to be my first artist interview I had a lot of fun and think I may go out and try a new project or two myself!


Pat Sloan is an quilter-turned-entrepreneur. She takes the patterns she enjoys making for herself and shared them with quilters nationwide through her company, Pat Sloan & Company. In addition to publishing her own patterns, she also designs patterns for McCall's Quilting, McCall's Quick Quilts, American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilters World, Create & Decorate, and the Fons and Porter magazines.She has also been the designer between several fabric lines with P&B Textiles and starting this fall she will be with Moda Fabrics.

Pat has also published more than 15 books with publisher Leisure Arts, including her newest book, Focus on the Center. In this book you learn the start your quilt with the center block and work your ways outwards.

Pat's latest block of the month applique pattern, Red Apple Lane, will definitely get you in the mood for some picnic fun! It'll be available soon through its manufacturer Bigfork Bay Cotton Company. "We have created it in batiks as well as her Moda line," says Bigfork Bay Cotton Company's Traci Marvel.

Red Apple Lane (Photos by: Pat Sloan & Co.)
Don't worry about trying to keep up with Pat, her website, has all the info and links you  need to immerse yourself in the creative world of Pat Sloan! From a calendar of events, to her blog, to a page of fun freebies, visiting her website will take you an exciting adventure into the quilting world!

Don't forget to visit us again August 1 to see where our next Artist Investigation leads me! Also, check back with us Friday as Pat Sloan will share a pattern for our Freebie Friday!

Happy stitching,


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